Take the Scenic Route on Louisiana’s Byways

Louisiana offers 19 scenic trails and byways. Driving along these picturesque routes, you’ll see unique architecture, abundant wildlife, cool attractions and vibrant culture. These byways have something for everyone to enjoy, and here’s a sample:

A massive 773 miles in length, the Louisiana River Road – All-American Road stretches from the northeast corner of the state all the way down to Louisiana’s southernmost point – and requires multiple days to enjoy all there is to offer. Starting at the top, a must-see for history buffs is Poverty Point World Heritage Site, comprised of over 3,000-year-old Native American mounds and an onsite museum filled with artifacts. Music lovers will enjoy the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday – honoring local legends like Jerry Lee Lewis, Irma Thomas and Fats Domino. Get up close with nature and local wildlife at the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge in St. Francisville before heading in to the capital city, Baton Rouge, to visit the Capitol Park Museum. Passing through Louisiana’s River Parishes, you’ll find plantations loaded with history, like Laura Plantation: Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site and Whitney Plantation. Grab a beignet at Café du Monde and visit the world-renowned National World War II Museum in New Orleans. End your trip on a charter boat out from Venice and see what fresh catch you can reel in.

The Bayou Teche National Scenic Byway is rich in Acadian culture. Looping along the path of a former channel of the Mississippi River, Bayou Teche Byway winds through south Louisiana’s lush swamps and moss-draped bayous. The byway crosses beautiful marshes and fields of sugar cane, connecting lovely towns that have well-preserved historic districts. The cuisine, customs and architecture here reflect influences of Native American, European, African, Caribbean and other peoples who settled the area. Grab a bite and a brew at Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville, paddle along the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, and learn some Cajun and Creole history at Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site. Stop by Avery Island, where the Tabasco Factory and Museum resides, to learn the history of the hot sauce. And one of Louisiana’s state museums, Wedell-Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill Museum gives an interesting look into the area’s industry.

Along the Boom or Bust Byway, visitors can take in the beauty of northwest Louisiana near Shreveport. Graveyards of longstanding oil field equipment that died when the oil industry went bust stand as reminders of the state’s longtime ties to the energy industry, and stops along this byway are rich in history. The Vivian Railroad Station Museum depicts the history and culture of north Caddo Parish. The Red River Crossroads Museum offers insights into the area’s Native American heritage, through the French Territorial days, the Louisiana Purchase, and the discovery of oil. And the Germantown Colony Museum, founded in the early 1800s, still has some original buildings and artifacts. After a day of exploration and good eats, relax at Lake Claiborne State Park with some recreational activities on the water.

Hit the road and explore more of Louisiana. Plan your trip at LouisianaByways.com.